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Best Nonprofit Conferences To Attend This July & August

nonprofit conferences calendar 2017

We all are lifelong learners in one field or another. Learning from peers, thought leaders is an opportunity to see who’s doing what but also to network and stay connected. Below is a list of events and conferences you do not want to miss. Topics range from fundraising and grants to marketing and communications, and nonprofit technology. So, here we go:

  1. AMI Nonprofit Marketing Conference | Jul 10 – 12 | Washington D.C.

At this conference, organizations will learn how to reach a larger audience on a limited budget, and transform their marketing dollars into maximum impact. Attendees will gain insights and expertise from top and brightest minds in the nonprofit sector and learn the best practices and technologies that can make their time and money most effective.

  1. National Urban League Annual Conference | Jul 26 – 29 | St. Louis, MO

It is the nation’s largest civil rights and social justice conference. It will provide participants with unmatched professional, business development, civic engagement, and networking opportunities. During the four power-packed days, attendees will take the advantage of networking events, sessions and workshops led by industry experts. This conference will focus on health, education, justice, business, and the economy.

The purpose of the conference is to engage participants in the discussions of pressing issues facing Americans and solutions to address these challenges. The major issues to be discussed are:

  • Social and economic inequality across America
  • Improving education in disadvantaged communities,
  • Increasing jobs and job training,
  • Health and quality of life issues that threaten the lives of Americans and other minorities,
  • Creating quality affordable housing options and small business opportunities in American communities.
  1. Bridge to Integrated Marketing and Fundraising Conference | Aug 2 – 4 | National Harbor, MD

It is the premier conference of, by and for fundraising professionals. It explores the latest, techniques, strategies, and innovations in direct marketing and fundraising. This will bring you and your organization to the next level. This year, above 2,000 fundraising professionals from every sector will gather for three energizing days of workshops, networking, panels, and more.

This conference will cover areas like:

  • Solutions to Your Tactical and Strategic Marketing Challenges,
  • Practical Insights and User-friendly Ideas to Improve ROI,
  1. Netroots Nation 2017 | Aug 10-13 | Atlanta, GA

Online organizers, labour and organizational leaders, grassroots activists, Social justice advocates, independent media makers, and bloggers will join this conference for four days of practical training sessions and networking opportunities.

The conference will feature:

  • 90 panels
  • 45 training sessions
  • Inspiring keynotes
  • Film screenings
  • Tons of networking and social events
  1. YNPN National Conference 2017 | Aug 11-14 | Atlanta, GA

This conference will cover areas like professional development, networking and more. It brings together nonprofit leaders and professionals from across the country. Here, you will grow your own leadership, and learn about new tools to improve your communities.

  1. ASAE Annual Conference & Expo | Aug 12-15 | Toronto, (Int.) Canada

This conference is open to association professionals, consultants, higher education professionals, industry partners, federal government employees, corporate meeting planners, and attorneys. It will fuel your work as leaders with practical ideas and colleague support.

  1. 2017 Chicago Non-profit Conference | Aug 28-30 | Chicago, IL

Avail the opportunity to connect with hundreds of fundraising and marketing professionals. At this conference, industry leaders will exchange innovative, game-changing marketing and fundraising ideas that generate fruitful solutions to help stronger relationship with donors. It will also focus on improving public awareness.

5 Common Nonprofit Fundraising Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

fundraising mistakes and how to avoid them

To be able to effectively , you would need a strategy along with a team dedicated to your cause. While it is hardly possible to create a fool-proof fundraising campaign, there are certain common mistakes that you could watch out for.

Inefficient goal setting

Often nonprofit organisations believe that a noble cause itself is enough to attract donors and contributions. This couldn’t be farther from the truth since there are more than several thousand noble causes vying for donor attention. That is why it falls upon your organization to help a donor understand your work and its impact. Donors also need to feel that your cause is more important than others. One of your fist goals should be to ensure donors understand that your non profit is offering something of value.

Set your goals both long and short term. Often, when faced with fund shortages, organisations cut back on short-term fundraising programs even though they are profitable. This is a mistake, because it dries up a steady stream of small funds.

Once defined, ensure you stay focused on the decided goals. So, if you’ve decided to organise a non-ask cultivation or a “Thank You” event, ensure it stays so by making no fundraising asks at the time.

Further, when you set a target for your fundraising, make sure it is thought through. Be sure to include elements like the operating budget and campaign management costs that tend to get left out.

A well-designed campaign execution plan is one that details all the phases involved. Set your goals for each phase of every campaign and designate roles and responsibilities. Any successful campaign requires a team of dedicated people that can connect with donors and help them understand the positive change their funds will bring, as well as take on other responsibilities.

In the end, be prepared to adequately measure your performance against the set goals. Evaluate the impact of your activities and ensure use of metrics that are a good fit for your organisation.

Ineffective fundraising events

Amongst other things, a successful fundraising event needs research, financial planning, event preparation, arranging backups and contingencies as well as management of the different phases of the event.

While your fundraising events should target both small and big donors, it’s essential that during the course of your event, all attendees feel welcomed and well treated. Pay attention to your guests and their preferences; don’t make them wait and be a gracious host. Brief your speakers and make sure they don’t bore your audience with lengthy speeches.

Events should also be tailor-made to suit organisational goals – both short term and long term. Another common mistake is to have a fundraising event without a theme. Make sure yours has an exciting one.

To avoid unplanned developments, every fundraising plan should have all aspects detailed out and discussed amongst team members. It’s never too early to start planning your event, so ensure you’re not losing time waiting to start off.

More often than not, fundraising events either come out losing money or hardly covering costs. To ensure your event is not one of these, make a clear outline of all costs that are likely to be incurred during every aspect of an event and plan for their recovery.

Poor donor research

Effective fundraising requires proper donor or prospect research, so that you are able to focus your efforts on your best prospects and make fundraising easier.

Extensive research on the organization’s database of donors must be carried out. Segregate and list donors who have given the largest donations in the past, those who have donated the most often and the newly inducted ones. This will bring clarity about your current donors and open up ways to find new ones.

You could also use one of the many available tools for creating prospect profiles. To get more comfortable with your choice of tool, run yourself through it first.

Also, create different approaches for different target groups, since using the same approach for all donors doesn’t work.

Once prospects are segmented segregat, allocate the required time and resources for relevant fundraising activities.

Not maintaining communication with donors

For successful fundraising efforts, it is important to maintain communication and build lasting relationships with your donors. People who donate, do so only because they are vested in your cause and are able to relate to it. It makes them happy to see their hard-earned money being put to good use and making a positive difference.

Not updating donors regularly about organisational developments is a recurring mistake. Periodic updates informing donors about your nonprofit organization’s current projects, your achievements, future goals and plans, sharing results of received donations and thanking them for their gifts are some of the ways to keep donors informed and involved. This ensures that the lines of communication are always open and makes fundraising much easier.

Successful fundraising appeals also use multiple channels of communication – digital, traditional mail, email, events, radio and more.. The more frequently you communicate, using varied modes of communication, the better will be the results of your fundraising efforts.

Solicitation of social media followers

While soliciting funds on social media may seem like an easy means of fundraising, asking for donations from individuals immediately after they have liked your posts or started following you on social media platforms could backfire.

Auto generated replies and direct emails that track social media followers and keep sending them messages with an ask gives the impression that your organization is solely focused on solicitation. Such asks could make fans wary of your communication or even make them unfollow you.

It would be a much warmer welcome to followers if initial interactions provide information about your organization, its work and its achievements. This will help cultivate and build lasting relationships, providing ongoing opportunities for solicitation.

So, what do you think? Have you experienced any of these fundraising mistakes? Comment below to share your perspective with our readers.

Non-Profit Communications: 4 Steps to Creating a Social Media Content Strategy.

Non-Profit Communications

Creating a non-profit communication strategy on social media is never easy. Generally with relatively small funds, non-profit organizations struggle even harder in this exercise. So we decided to set up this short guide with 4 steps to help you orient your strategy while preserving your wallet at best. These few tips will help you improve your visibility and the weight of your website on the World Wide Web.

The goal of this non-profit communication strategy is to stir the crowds and raise more funds to carry out your activities.

1.    Know your audience

It is important to know who you are addressing.Which age group is most sensitive to your cause?What are the interests of your audience?Adapt your content accordingly: Experiment, take risks!Note that while this year has seen the growth of smartphones (207.1 million in the US in 2016), 2017 will only amplify the trend.Perhaps you could orient your strategy towards new platforms?For example, WWF recently used Snapchat and its famous countdown to defend the urgency of protecting species threatened by human activities.

2.    Build strategic partnerships

Make sure that people talk about you. Contact bloggers, journalists and other influencers to talk about your cause! Why not ask celebrities to lend you their voice? You can also take advantage of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). CSR is a “concept in which companies integrate social, environmental and economic concerns in their activities and in their interactions with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis”. A 50/50 situation that allows you to benefit from an expanded network and gives your partner the status of defender while allowing him to meet the standards of CSR is a great non-profit communication strategy to instantly reach target audience.

3.    Create a Buzz around your cause

You do not have an unlimited budget? It does not matter. It is always possible to create a buzz with good ideas when one is well informed. Social Media audience tend to react better with content that is either shocking or funny. Unicef ​​Sweden decided to shock its audience in April 2013 by launching a campaign entitled “LIKES DO NOT SAVE LIVES”. A smart campaign smartly conducted for guaranteed success.

A good non-profit communications campaign cannot be improvised. Study the trends and discover the conversations and interests of internet users to strike the right chord. In order to save time and maximize your efficiency, do not hesitate to use a good monitoring tool or donor management tool. You will have the keys to master the core of your social media communication strategy with insights gained on donor behavior.

4.    Reward the Commitment

Last but not least, listen to the reactions that your engagement brings.The era 2.0 is also an era of reputation.By becoming a recognized organization, you become an influential voice.A simple thank you, personified and addressed directly to the internet users who interact with you means a lot.That said, you will also attract the engagement of your interlocutors, offering a little more visibility to your organization.

The goal of this guide, a better non-profit communication strategy for social media is to help you multiply the commitment to your organization.Target your audience, build quality partnerships, produce content that can be shared virally, and reward users who interact with you.

Facebook for Non-Profits: 10 tips for fundraising success.

Facebook for Non-Profits: 10 tips for fundraising success

facebook fundraising success

More than one billion users around the world use Facebook daily. Is there a way to connect with people and form interest-based communities? Where are the volunteers and donors that support your cause located? Can your Facebook page help with your non-profit events? In this post we find out how to create a Facebook page that captures the interest of your community and effectively manage it for fundraising success.

Why register your non-profit events page on Facebook

  • Having a Facebook page is a must-have for and a non-profit that wants to be dynamic! It maintains a spirit of community by opening a two-way communication channel. You will be able to stay in touch with your members and solicit them. This page can even become a real meeting point.
  • Want to attract new donors, volunteers, or members? In addition to energizing your current community, you could also expand it with Facebook.

Defining the objectives of your Facebook page will help you to build your donor communication strategy.

How to create your page in a few clicks?

You must have a personal Facebook account to create a non-profit events or business page. Create an account or login, and visit this page: facebook.com/pages/create .

1st step:

Select ” Business, organization or institution “. Enter the name of your association, then choose ” Non-Profit Organization” from the drop-down list. Be sure to opt for periodic tips and tricks from Facebook for your page.

Create facebook page for non profit associations

2nd stage:

That’s it! Your page is created. Now you can set the information for your page. This page is the entry point for people who will discover your non-profit via Facebook, so think about it.

Facebook for fundraising success

  1. Start by adding a photo, which will usually be your logo.
  2. Then a cover photo, which appears at the top of your page. Use it well to convey your story. Please select a photo of good quality.
  3. Add a short description of your organization. Do not forget to add your website, which will be displayed on your Facebook page. Also customize the Facebook address or the username of your page or cause. For example, we have changed the generic URL in the address bar to https://www.facebook.com/givecentral/
  4. Add your page to your Facebook favorites. You will have easy access from your personal account.

Facebook marketing for non profits

3rd step:

As you scroll down your newly created page you will find a series of suggestions in a drop-down menu for you to explore and upload your post. What is the action you want people to take when they land on your page? It may be:

  • Make a donation
  • Registering for non-profit events
  • Create offers, and so on.

In general, try to complete your profile as much as possible: address, contact details, history with key milestones for your organization … The Facebook page has become the digital business card of any organization, including non-profits. It needs to be treated with maximum information from the start.

The 10 best practices of a good Facebook page for fundraising success are:

Tip # 1: Define your communication strategy

That is, your own identity. Ask yourself the right questions:

What information would my audience like to find? At what frequency? What tone to use? On what media? (Videos, photos, drawings, articles, interview …) What is the message to pass? (Gather, promote, advice, and share news …)

You can even give a survey on your members’ expectations before you get started.

Tip # 2: Grab attention

One of the keys to success on Facebook is to remain concise and inventive. You must be successful in distinguishing yourself from other publications.

Tip # 3: Keep up the pace

It is essential to publish frequently on Facebook, so that you are not forgotten. Do not fall into excess and find the right frequency for posting.

Tip # 4: Build bridges with your site

Remember to link your website and your Facebook page. In addition to winning visits from both sides, you will have better SEO.

When to post on Social Media for non profits

Tip # 5: Have a dedicated community manager

Managing a good Facebook page takes time.  Ideally you should have a dedicated community manager within your organization to specifically take care of this task. Young volunteers comfortable with social networks also make for a good choice. Just supervise by giving the right guidelines.

Tip # 6: Time your posts

Finally, consider publishing at the right time. There are more timely moments than others. Study your page monthly to find out when your audience is engaging with your posts using data from the Facebook insights.

What type of content to publish?

Tip # 7: Vary the content  

You have the option to upload videos, photos, articles, events, news, links, questions, content from another Facebook page… utilize them.

Tip # 8: Put your members to work

Encourage your members to interact with your community: ask them to participate in your non-profit events, sign petitions, react to a debate, and visit your site, for example.

Tip # 9: Behind the Scenes Stories

Internet users like to see what happens behind the scene, they will “like” the images of your volunteers at work preparing their actions.

Better less, but better!
Tip # 10: Publish Quality Content

You can write articles supporting your cause, or news about your associations. If you do not have the pen handy, you can also relay content related to your association.

You now have all the information to set up and effectively manage a Facebook page for fundraising success, it’s up to you to play!

market research nonoprofit association

Market Research for your Non-Profit Association~the 7 Golden Rules.

Before you start a major marketing campaign for your non-profit association or plan to introduce a new product or service, you need to be sure that your donors want what you are offering. Imagine working hard on a new service for months only to find out that your audience just isn’t ready for it!

Research surveys can help you find the interests of your community, provide a thorough understanding of your existing business and also help explore new opportunities in the marketplace.

Conducting a survey however, can be more difficult than it seems. At least for quality results.

Here are some tips from us at GiveCentral to help you get started.

Set up a survey to probe your non-profit association’s community with these 7 golden rules.

1.     Before getting started ask yourself

The survey must be specific to a target because its nature and the conclusions to be drawn will depend greatly on the target. You can survey your volunteers or employees to make improvements within the organization.

You can also know the satisfaction of your donors and the prospects of their growth.

  • What question are you trying to answer?

Write the problem to which this survey responds. Poll Rule: A survey always answers a question.

2.       How to structure it?

Some tips to increase your response rate:

  • Choose your non-profit survey title and subtitle
  • Consider adding a description where you set the context, explain the issues involved in the survey and why it is important that they complete the survey
  • Give an end date to the survey, and put it forward so as to avoid procrastination. It’s now or never!
  • Start with broad questions and get into the details as you go.

3.      What kind of questions to ask?

Questions should be short. Between 5 and 15 words. The respondent does not want to spend too much time taking questions. Answering your survey should be easy and quick.

Questions must be clear. Use simple and appropriate vocabulary. Even if the questionnaire is aimed at professionals, avoid the use of jargons.

Questions must be relevant. Stick to a subject. The respondent must understand why you are asking a particular question.

Also be careful not to ask personal questions. Even if your survey is anonymous, you would lose in response rate.

4.     What kind of survey response options to use?

There are two formats you can choose from- structured (where the respondent is allowed to select a response from pre-existing choices) or unstructured (open-ended) response formats.

While the structured formats are used for greater efficiency and ease, the unstructured survey response formats are a more popular choice for qualitative research.

Some advantages and disadvantages of the most frequently used survey formats for market research are:

Single choice closed question

+ Fast and simple

– Limit

Closed multiple choice question

+ More open but still easy to strip

– Some proposals are sometimes chosen without real conviction

Ranking

+ Allows accurate comparisons and results

– Difficult to put in place

Open question

+ Leave a Reply

– Long to answer: may scare the respondent (be sure to leave the answer optional)

– Little response rate

– Long to strip

5.      Who will be your target audience?

Sample and population

  • The population is the number of people who make up the group you want to interview.

For example, if you want to better understand the behaviour of your donors, your population is the number of donors your non-profit association has: 150 for example.

  • The sample is the number of people in this population who responded to your survey.

You send your survey by email to your 150 donors. Only 50 respond: this is the size of your sample.

How large should my sample be compared to my population?

The table below shows you the size of the sample you need to get meaningful results.

Market Research for your Non-Profit Association- the 7 golden rules

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: https://www.surveymonkey.com/mp/sample-size/

Thus, it can be seen that the larger the size of the population, the less the proportion of respondents to be interviewed.

When is a sample representative of my population?

A margin of error of 5% and a confidence level of 95% according to the sample size shown above guarantees good reliability and very significant results.

6.     How to administer the non-profit survey?

There are multiple ways to administer a survey depending on the size of the population and the number of questions you may wish to ask. Each method has its pros and cons.

Face to face:

+ Helps if the questionnaire is complex / long

+ High response rate

– Costly and long

– Long analysis

By email:

Send a questionnaire + a cover letter + return envelope or propose a return by hand

+ Accessible to all: can reach all our members without exception

– Low response rate

– Expensive

– Long analysis

Online survey:

Put your non-profit online survey on the website, and send an invitation to reply by email. You can use solutions like Google Form, Survey Monkey and GiveCentral’s donor management system.

+ Automatic scoring

+ Anonymity of responses if desired

+ Allows some tools to have a graphical view of the results

– Need to have internet to answer: discriminating (less and less however)

The people who respond to the surveys must be randomly selected if our population is to be represented. Be careful, therefore, that administering your online survey does not distort the results. There is a risk of missing out on the representation of elderly people without internet access, those who rarely consult their emails or rarely visit your website.

7.     What to do with the results?

The analysis of the results is an essential step.

The results must make it possible to answer your initial questions and put in place concrete actions.

Be sure to remain objective in your analysis, because some answers can be misinterpreted. To remedy this, you can work with several hypothesis.

It is important to communicate the results of your non-profit survey to the community.

People who have taken time to answer your questionnaire will be delighted to have this information. Your non-profit association can use various communication tools such as, the website, monthly newsletter or email.

fundraising campaign

5 things to know before starting a fundraising campaign.

Want to launch your online fundraising campaign? A little strategy is in order! From the beginning of a Fundraising campaign, it is important for non-profit organizations to be aware of certain elements:

  • Philanthropists want to see results from their gift. If they agree to help fund a project, it’s because they believe in the organization and its mission. Make it clear in your marketing and messaging why is your organization raising funds.
  • It is tricky to solicit donations for the sole purpose of balancing a budget. It is easier to convince donors to participate in the development of your organization, or in a specific mission that the institution intends to carry out. To get more donors to become involved, the funds sought must be used to move the nonprofit organization.
  • Soliciting prospective donors in a non-targeted manner (for example starting with the letter A of a directory) whether it is specialized or not, is not considered the most effective strategy while starting a fundraising campaign. It is better to turn to potential donors (companies or individuals) who are already connected in one way or another to the fundraising institution or its members.
  • As often in marketing disciplines, loyalty to a donor is easier than recruiting a new donor. For this, the process of traceability, thanking your donors,  follow-ups and information regarding the use of donations are essential.
  • According to several recent studies, there is generally a very large disproportion in the amount of donations obtained.The Pareto principle applies here in full: the fact that 90% of donations come from 10% of donors is a common pattern. This can even go further (95-5 etc.). In conclusion, it is not necessarily useful to look for a large quantity donors, it is necessary to be able to detect and convince the quality ones.